Between Past and Present: Art in Lebanon

Graffiti saw its beginnings in Lebanon when the fifteen year civil war (1975-1990) consumed the nation and was ripped apart by militia violence, international intervention and Syria and Israel's military invasions and occupations of the country. Stencil art and graffiti became a tool of propaganda for the militias, and also highlighted the county’s bitter sectarian and confessional divides at the height of al-hawadith or 'events' which left 83,000 dead in Beirut alone and 150,000 across Lebanon. 

Street art and graffiti in Lebanon has since evolved with new styles and techniques emerging. Although politically driven street art is still around, most of the art these days places huge emphasis on aesthetics and represents part of a generation of Lebanese youth pushing, in multiple ways, for greater unity across a country which continues to grapple with political and sectarian slogans which have fractured Lebanon historically and fragmented it in the present. 


 Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives

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 Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives

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 Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives

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 Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives

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 Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives

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 Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives

Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives


 Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives

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 Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives

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 Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives

Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives


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 Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives

Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives


 Matthew Williams/The Conflict Archives

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Matthew C.K Williams